Attitude can sweeten your grapes _ superior telegram

You discover the furnace needs repairs and the washing machine needs replacing — all in the same day. The morning alarm didn’t go off and no one had time to make coffee. You are out of ketchup and you’d planned on having hamburgers for supper. There’s dog hair all over the carpet and muddy cat paw prints across the newly cleaned kitchen floor (and table, but I wouldn’t admit to that publicly). The dining room table is covered in receipts and tax documents. It’s the first of the month, and bills are due, and you can’t find the checkbook.

One kid claims he doesn’t have clean underwear because the laundry is piled high because the washer has been broken for a few days because it broke when one of the other kids was doing a load, and he or she never thought to tell you.

Another of the kids calls. He has a flat tire. Again. Your car is nearly out of gas so you have to fill up before you can go rescue him. The school calls. Your kid threw up in science class. Again. It is raining or snowing or maybe probably both. The snowblower or the lawn mower or maybe probably both are on the fritz. Again.

You forgot to take your vitamins and only realize this when you reach for the aspirin. Because you still have that headache.

Your day, your week, heck your life in general seeps with potential for chaos and complaints. It can be overwhelming sometimes. It can be.

The furnace needs repairs and I am able to call a repairperson and keep our house warm. The washing machine needs replacing and I am able to go to the store and order a new one. I have a coffee maker. It works when I press a button.

A hamburger without ketchup is still a hamburger. Plus, I can probably find a recipe for an interesting sauce online. It’s practically why Pinterest was invented.

Dog hair indicates a house that has the ability to love and care for animals. Ditto that for the cat paw prints. Pets give us an unconditional love like no other. Dogs do, at least. Cats allow us to clean up their paw prints.

Receipts and tax documents mean we had jobs and income during the previous year. We were able to purchase food, and pay the mortgage, and live in our house and be a family.

The bills are due. They aren’t overdue.

A lack of clean clothes and washing machine doesn’t prevent those clothes from being laundered. Teaching kids how to hand wash items in a pinch is a valuable skill. Besides clean underwear are over-rated.

Having a snowblower and lawn mower means you have somewhere to blow and mow. Rain and snow means Mother Nature is doing her job. Precipitation is typically a good thing. Every living being — from a daisy to an elm tree to a resident of California would tell you so.

A flat tire can be fixed. No one is hurt and filling up the gas is a lot less painful now than a year ago. You can pick up the sick kid while rescuing the flat tire one. That’s a twofer. And tonight at supper, they will be home with you — all under one roof. You don’t appreciate simple things like that until they are gone.

Life. It can be overwhelming sometimes. It sure can. For me, this is most likely to happen in the wee hours of the morning while I lie in bed thinking of my to-do list and all the things that could go wrong with the upcoming day or week or year or millennium.

It can be overwhelming sometimes. It is overwhelming sometimes. But it doesn’t have to be, not always. You get to choose the fullness of your cup and the sweetness of your grapes (or wine as the case may be). As long as you realize you’re the one with the power to do so.

I attempt to make mine full to the brim with a nice white — preferably an oaky Chardonnay.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.